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Posted by on Apr 4, 2016 | 4 comments

La Bella Strada: A Chalk Painting Festival Coming to Del Ray

La Bella Strada: A Chalk Painting Festival Coming to Del Ray

We are so excited about the first ever chalk painting festival coming to Del Ray on May 14, 2016. La Bella Strada is a modern street painting festival that originates from an ancient Italian art form. Organized by the parents of students who attend The Del Ray Montessori School, this unique event takes place along Mt. Vernon Avenue. As a fundraiser to help the school with the New Building Fund, local artists, sponsored by businessses and individuals, will decorate Del Ray’s sidewalks with their unique chalk masterpieces. Families and individuals can also reserve designated sidewalk squares for making their own colorful work of art. To test out the artist-grade chalk the artists will use and to show how anyone – not only the professional artists among us – can be involved and make a beautiful chalk painting, my co-chair Candi and I designed a couple of squares ourselves. We started by marking off the squares with painters tape. Candi drew a grid on the design she wanted to paint...

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Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 | 6 comments

Zen Doodle Chair

Zen Doodle Chair

For the past few months, I have been practicing Zen doodle whereever I can, either in my sketch book or on a pumpkin. You can doodle anywhere. When Leslie approached me about zen doodling on her white chair, I couldn’t pass up the chance. We met at Emma’s and got started together. Before putting the pen to the chair, I thought about where to put the first doodles. I could go up one of the vertical legs or go across a slat for example. It took some planning because the pen is permanent and there would be no going back. Once we got started, everything started coming together. I took the chair home and worked on it in my spare time. I used a black sharpie pen. Not just any sharpie, an acrylic paint sharpie. You can get them at Staples. Slowly over time, the doodles took over the chair. I especially loved making the mandala on the seat. My cat even enjoyed posing on the chair. When I...

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Posted by on Jan 21, 2016 | 0 comments

Marvelous Musically Themed Paper Snowflakes

Marvelous Musically Themed Paper Snowflakes

I’ve always made paper snowflakes by randomly cutting shapes into folded paper. But recently, my friend Lisa showed me this book she picked up from the City Museum of St. Louis that walks you through the steps to make fabulous snowflakes with a musical theme. One Sunday afternoon, she invited a few friends and their kids over to make a mess of snowflakes together. Lisa tried out this technique during a hands-on workshop in St. Louis with the author of the book Marion Nichols, fondly known there as the “Snowflakey Lady.” You start out folding the paper in a certain way and then you cut out a complex shape, so that when you open the snowflake, you see a repeating motif, like this trombone… and this trumpet. We quickly got the hang of folding the paper by following the clear illustrations in the book. Lisa displayed all of the unique snowflakes that everyone cut out on her windows, making for a delightful winter exhibit to enjoy inside and out....

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Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 | 3 comments

Justine’s Zendoodling Sketchbook

Justine’s Zendoodling Sketchbook

At one of our recent coloring book club sessions, I noticed Justine coloring in one of her own zendoodles. New to zendoodling, Justine has quickly become adept at this fun and relaxing style of drawing. Justine carries a sketchbook around with her so she can do a little zendoodling whenever the mood strikes. One evening, I looked over her shoulder as she showed me page after page of her beautiful, spontaneous drawings. You don’t have to be a trained artist to zendoodle, says Justine. You start with a line drawing and then you let the line go where it wants to go, making swirls, dots, repeating geometric shapes, waves, cross-hatching, whatever feels right. Maybe you trace your hand and then fill in the outline with various patterns… Or you color the shape of a simple bird… Justine likes to start with an object, a pinecone say, and then use the shape of it to inspire a zendoodle, which she may embellish with differently colored markers. She may be inspired...

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Posted by on Dec 23, 2015 | 5 comments

Del Ray’s Christmas Card Lane

Del Ray’s Christmas Card Lane

There is no lack of creative holiday spirit in Del Ray, and one of my favorite displays has got to be the over-sized Christmas yard cards on Luray Ave. Whether you view them during the day or at night (each has its own spotlight), they are guaranteed to impress. The cards are the work of several neighbors, led by Becky VanZoeren, inspired by a 40+ year old tradition from Becky’s home town of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Growing up in Kalamazoo, Becky’s dad would take her and her family to see the magnificent display of cards on the now famous Lauderdale Drive, appropriately nicknamed “Christmas Card Lane.” Since 1965, at least 40 houses on the street have decorated their yards with hand-painted plywood cards, lit up at night for people to enjoy. In 1969, the cards made the local news and today they have a Facebook page. Last year, while chatting with an old friend from Kalamazoo about the cards, Becky decided to bring the tradition to Del Ray. Becky and...

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